“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”
This is a line in the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare. What is a bedfellow? A bedfellow is a person or thing that shares our bed. Another meaning is an unlikely companion or an unexpected partner.
I think about romantic relationships. How many people are in abusive relationships with strange bedfellows. Or what about people who compromise their values for a bedfellow? Are you tolerating a strange bedfellow because you are afraid to be alone?
What if your strange bedfellow is a bag of potato chips, a candy bar, ice cream, or cookies. Many people hide food and secretly eat it in the comfort of their rooms and beds. I admit I have hidden food sometimes so nobody will confront me about my choices.
What are we really afraid of?
Are we afraid of other people’s opinions? What if, instead of hiding our “strange” bedfellow, we found healthier choices that were good for us, fueled our bodies, and we did not need to hide them?
Many people are afraid to work with a weight loss coach or go on a diet because they fear their favorite foods will be taken away. But what if your life were filled with interesting and fascinating experiences, that food became simply an afterthought?
Why not try something different?
This week, I have three challenges for you:
1) Write down the times when you have an urge to eat a SPECIFIC food. See if there is an emotion behind that urge? What is it? Does the urge for hotdogs remind you of going to baseball games with your dad when you were a kid? Does the smell of home baked chocolate chip cookies remind you of Sunday visits to grandmother’s house? What is the emotion that you answer with food?
Because of the way our brains are wired, the memory center of the brain is in close proximity to the emotional center. Hence, memories (thoughts) can trigger strong emotions that are often associated with a desire to eat. However, we can train our brains, so that we remember an event and feel the associated emotion, but don’t answer it with food.
2) Begin to re-discover yourself. Ask yourself who you really are. What do you enjoy doing? What activities have you let go that you once enjoyed? Why not start something up again? Did you love learning when you were a kid? Why not take a continuing education class? Were you good in a particular sport? What made you stop?
3) Practice an attitude of gratitude. Do you have a place to live? Food to eat? A warm bed to sleep in? We all have something in our lives we can appreciate. You can begin to thank God for providing you with the good things in your life. You might even learn to be grateful for the not so nice things that happened to you. Because experiencing the bad things gives you greater appreciation for the good things.
Don’t acquaint yourself with strange bedfellows.
Rather, acquaint yourself with yourself and find out what truly matters to you. If you would like to explore this further, feel free to message me for a free consultation to see how working with a coach can help your gain greater clarity on what you truly desire.